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Community Engagement & Service

Life Behind Bars: A Look into Modern Day Servitude and the Criminal "Justice" System

San Francisco, CA

Alternative Break Prison Reform in San Francisco 2014-2015

The Program:

Our trip will focus on the flaws of the criminal justice system, and how it directly influences people of color. We will determine what role institutional racism plays in prisons systemically as well as explore organizations that try to alleviate the side effects of falling victim to the system or having a loved one in prison. 1 in 3 Black men will go to jail in their lifetime, not because of poor choices, but structures that are put in place for their down fall in the United States. We will investigate how legal biases and the war on drugs have led to the overpopulation of black and brown bodies in prison; how prison conditions and modern day servitude affect those serving time on the inside and what the black lives matter movement role has been throughout this process.

Tentative Itinerary:

Sunday - Everyone will arrive at the DCA to take our flight to San Francisco. Upon arrival we will take the train to Hostel International and settle in. We will also go to the local grocery store to buy food for the rest of the week. If there is enough time we can take a tour of D.C 
Monday- After breakfast and packing lunches we will head to our first tour of the san quentin, a death row prison, that day is expected to be heavy, so potentially we will visit the project avary, a community partner that works with children. 

Tuesday- We will attend the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department and the Delancey Street Foundation. Both of these organizations connect because many of the people who seek relief from Delancey have come in contact with the Sheriff department. 

Wednesday- We will attend the ella baker center for human rights to discuss how the prison industry system ideals contradict human rights values.  

Thursday- On this day we plan to meet with the prisoner reentry network and potentially engage in service, along with discussions on how prisoners get back into the real world. Also have discussions on racial disparities between who may have an easier time getting back into society. 

Friday- Our alcatraz visit day will switch depending on a large group availability. This tour will potentially take up the whole day. 

Saturday- We will attend the juvenile court and watch some cases and take a tour of the courthouse and learn about how juveniles navigate through the system. 

Sunday- We will pack up, and depending on the flight time, we can attend the african diaspora museum before heading back to D.C. 

*Every night will end with a group reflection and a group meal


 Destination: San Frnacisco, CA

Dates: January 7-14, 2018

Cost: $1,400

Adviser: TBD

Cost Includes: Airfare, lodging, meals ground transportation, admission fees, travel insurance, guides and administrative fees. 


Meet Your Student Leaders!

Teanna Willis is a Junior and CLEG major, who enjoys making YouTube videos. She always tries to combine her passions and push herself to know her limits. She is constantly learning everyday, and enjoys learning even more when she can engage in groups and hear other perspectives. She is excited to lead this alternative break to help facilitate and pick the brains of many students that will bring diverse opinions on the prison industrial complex. 

Jenna Caldwell was born and raised in northern New Jersey. Jenna is a Junior majoring in International Relations and minoring in Communications. Combining these fields of study, she hopes to enter the field of journalism, providing a different perspective on global issues and cultural happenings. Check out some of her work published by American Word Magazine and The Blackprint! 

“I'm excited for our alternative break because criminal justice has become romanized, dramatized and reduced to entertainment purposes, blinding us from the real life changes that we can create.” - Jenna